Saturday, August 6, 2005

2 Dum 2 Die in PDX

In Which Cyclecide and CHUNK 666 Return to Portland.

After a few hours of post-intoxication slumber following the evening's festivities in Seattle, CHUNK 666 and Cyclecide loaded the last of the rides and bikes on the bus and headed back to Portland. In the preceding month I had wrangled a location for the Bike Rodeo at ACME, a new(ish) bar in the hinterlands of southeast industrial, at the corner of 8th and Main.

ACME's parking lot wraps completely around its not street facing sides, but about two months before had walled off the western portion with steel siding, creating a giant patio area. This patio was desirable for the Cyclecide show but also made what had previously been a reasonably sized parking lot quite cramped. The cyclofuge barely fit in the back, with a little tiny corridor for people to walk by, with the legs of the people in the chairs whooshing by a few feet from their heads. I was a little stupefied at how people would continue to stand around in this dangerous area.

The two-person ferris wheel was just big enough to slide into the far southwestern corner.

Wherein Los Banos Delight the Denizens of Portland.

The shortage of open space meant that for the show Cyclecide had to shut down the 'fuge and perform behind it, with the crowd on the other side and ride their bikes and do their skits around the 'fuge. Additionally, with four Cycleciders in the band, this left only three available to do the Rodeo Clown stuff. In front of a healthy crowd of 200 or so, packed to one side of ACME's back patio, the show began with Big B. singing the national anthem whilst riding the "aversion therapy bike."

Thereafter followed the Parade of Bikes sequence. Thud was eating his dinner but was couldn't resist, and joined the fray astride Sproing, all the whilst never setting down his burger.

Then the bridge fell out of Jarico's guitar. This resulted in a rather uncomfortable period of ad-libbing while the entire Los Banos band tried to fix it. Hastily they recovered, and went on with the Pinata-bike sequence. The volunteer did a nice job almost whacking fellow audience members.

In Which Moses Scales the Very Summit of High Comedy.

A longtime favorite part of the show of mine is the Jumping-Over-Five-Cars-on-Fire stunt. After the cars have been jumped, Moses runs up to the small, lighter-fluid fire with a pressurized water fire extinguisher to put it out. Now, in the show in San Francisco during Pedal Monster he would move to put out the fire, hamming it up ("I got it, I got it. Everything is under control" etc.), then look up and spray the crowd down with water.

For reasons I'd rather not go into, Moses was uncomfortable involving the crowd in such gags (for the same reason, the "cream pie" element of the show was skipped as well). C. Collision and myself were standing such that he had his back to us when it came time for this part. Collision had only seen the show once before, last night in Seattle, so I sort of elbowed him and said "this part is great," anticipating the spray-down of the crowd.

Par for course, he set the extinguisher tank on the ground, leaned over it, and instead of suddenly standing upright and spraying the crowd, he pointed the nozzle straight up and shot himself in the face with the extinguisher and staggered backwards, as if to keel over. THAT was funny.

Except for later, when we were talking to him later after the show, we found out this variation was accidental. His eye was tearing up really bad, even swelling a bit, for about 20 minutes afterwards, and he was worried he'd have to go the hospital. I told him I thought he was mimicking a gag John Cleese had done in Fawlty Towers. He seemed to recollect said episode and then had to admit, "yeah, that was pretty funny."

Wherein Big Daddy Succumbs to Road Rage.

Cyclecide spent the night on the bus in the ACME parking lot, so the next morning we rode over there and took them to a breakfast joint. They went absolutely ape shit when they saw the headline on the front page of the Oregonian sports section: "Beavers need to fill holes at three positions."

Afterwards, when the seven or so of us were riding back to ACME to pack up the rides, these two cyclists ended riding with us. They were all like "whoa, cool bikes" and "isn't this neat?" Paul, Ranessa, and Big Daddy had spent the morning putting the Grasshopper in a box truck so it could travel with the Tour de Fat from there on out, and met us for breakfast via Paul's pick-up truck. So, as we're riding down Division with these two other cyclists in tow, Paul's truck passes us with Big Daddy leaning out the window yelling "FUCKING bikers! It's not critical mass today you FUCKING bikers!" to which Moses responded by sort of fake banging on the back of the truck.

Of course, I don't think the two cyclists realized what was going on, and they were especially momentarily freaked when we got to the light at 20th, where Paul actually blocked both lanes of Division with his truck diagonally, and Big Daddy THREW open the door and moved towards Moses or Laird, doing his best to look intimidating (not hard, as he's called Big Daddy for reason, but as Collision put it later, if Big Daddy got really mad, the worse he could probably do is kill a six pack). I didn't see it, but apparently the two cyclists were a good half block back at a dead stop looking very concerned, confused, and worried if someone was going to get beat up all at the same time.

One Last Trick.

Having returned to ACME, and having packed up all the rides and all the props and all the bikes, its was basically time to go. Jarico says "hey, you want to see our new trick? Its called the human bike ramp."

As mentioned, ACME had fairly recently installed a wall of steel siding to create their gigantic patio. Jarico walked over to a corner and picked up a leftover scrap of said steel siding. He laid down on the ground spread-eagled, pulled the steel siding up onto his back, with it touching the ground between his spread legs, and yelled at Paul to "jump" a bike of the Jarico ramp.

Paul selected my sidecar bike, backed up and ran over Jarico such the front and back wheel went right over Jarico's poor skull!

[Photo by Laird.]

The Sidecar Bike touched down safely after making a good racket of the steel siding bouncing and bending on the pavement, and then Jarico LEPT to his feet!

"I'm okay!" he proclaimed, to a round of applause.

Farewell, Cyclecide.

Precious memories...

[Photo by Laird.]